A powerful adaptation of the classic stage play about a Puritan community in seventeenth century Massachusetts awash in guilt, denial, and hysteria when a ring of lustful teenage girls begins accusing its citizens of witchcraft. When one man fights to retain his integrity in the face of madness, the adolescent slander invariably extends to him. Based on actual historic events and meant as a metaphor for the paranoid persecutions of the McCarthy era, the story (re-penned for the screen by playwright Arthur Miller) is a parable about society's fascination with and revulsion for cultural scandal.
George Fenton - Composer
Lilly Kilvert - Production Designer, THE LAST SAMURAI (2003)
Joan Allen - American actress, THE ICE STORM
Arthur Miller - Playwright, Screenwriter
Nicholas Hytner - Director/"King George"
Bruce Davison - American TV/Film Actor
Paul Scofield - Oscar-winning British actor; A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966)
Tariq Anwar - Editor
Daniel Day-Lewis - British Actor, AGE OF INNOCENCE (1993)
Winona Ryder - American actress, GIRL, INTERRUPTED
Winona Laura Horowitz - American actress, GIRL, INTERRUPTED
Andrew Dunn - American Cinematographer
The film adaptation of Arthur Miller's classic, fact-based play, which was a veiled metaphor for the "Red Scare" McCarthy Hearings of the 1950s. Set in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, the story concerns Abigail, a teenager who once had an affair with married farmer John Proctor. Their relationship comes to an end, however, when his wife Elizabeth learns about it. One night, in the woods, Abigail and a group of girls undress and engage in a ritualistic ceremony, during which Abigail puts a deadly curse on Elizabeth. But when this revelry is brought to light, the shocked villagers come to believe that Satan is in their town. A witch hunt begins, with arrests, trials and burnings at the stake in store for many of the accused girls. Furthermore, the affair between John and Abigail does not escape scrutiny...
Limited theatrical release in the USA November 27, 1996; wide release January 1997. Color by Technicolor. Shot on location on Hog Island, Massachusettes.
"...A seductively exciting film that crackles with visual energy, passionate provocation and incendiary acting. The mood is electric from the first scene..." - 12/12/1996 Rolling Stone, p.89-90
"...Joltingly powerful....[The performers] bring it off spectacularly..." -- Rating: A - 12/06/1996 Entertainment Weekly, p.50
"...Handsomely mounted....The elemental and universal issues raised by THE CRUCIBLE are stirring....The cast is stellar..." - 11/04/1996 Variety
3 stars out of 5 -- "Daniel Day-Lewis is as committed as ever, and Paul Scofield electrifies as the judge overseeing the proceedings..." - 05/01/2013 Total Film